Times are hard, and sometimes so is household budgeting. So here are some tips to save you money AND save the planet!
- This vampire had a lot of power…over “tweens”
5) Fight “vampire power”– Vampire power is also known as standby power and phantom load. Many gadgets and appliances waste energy just by being plugged in (even if they’re switched off). According to the Energy Information Administration vampire power costs consumers up to $10 Billion a year in the United States alone! So how do you fight vampires? Here are a few suggestions: Unplug things you do not use often, such as the microwave or DVD player, if thats not really an option, go to plan B. Below are some “Smart Strip” power sources, for about $30 or $40 once, you can save possibly hundreds per year. (the average is $200 per year wasted). Here’s a good place to get an estimate with a web app at Vampire Power Sucks.
4) Recycle bottles, cans, newspapers, etc. – This seems like a no brainer, and recyling is up roughly 16% since 1990, but since that last big jump it has stayed at a pretty steady 30%. If your broke most metals will bring a small but welcome extra income.
3) Reduce your food waste/intake – The New York Times reports that the average American wastes 1400 calories of food per day! The daily caloric intake of most people should be about 2000 calories, but often we exceed this, this is especially true for men. In America alone there are over 50 million hungry people. So the math seems easy, 300 million Americans – 50 million hungry = 250 million, if each of these 250 million saves their 1400 calories of wasted food, that leaves 7000 calories per hungry person. That is so much food that we could feed parts of Mexico, which would help end the horrors taking place down there, and the illegal immigration problem would be eased as well, all by reducing food waste. So how do we do this, well first, eat less, especially meat as it is resource intensive. Second use all of what you buy, eat leftovers, shop carefully, control your food more carefully overall from store/garden to plate. And lastly eat out less, restaurants waste TONS of food, so though it may not be what consumer society would suggest, it is the better choice for the Earth, your bank account, and those who are hungry.
2) Drive less – This is a simple one, walk, take a bike, take the bus, carpool or even take a scooter. Gas is expensive, cars are tough to maintain and kill the planet, ’nuff said.
1) Grow your own food – This is habitually my number one tip! Raised beds, bay window spice garden, greenhouses or even just a “hoop house” can produce a significant amount of food and spices for your family. If you find that you cannot do this, try finding a Community Supported Agriculture club in your area, you can usually get a lot of fresh, organic food at a good price.